Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) surprised just about everybody with fourth quarter earnings that showed it had gained 2.05 million new U.S. subscribers and that it had a fourth quarter profit of $8 million. Both pieces of news caused the streaming media company's stock to soar 22 percent to $125.75, according to Bloomberg.
The subscriber gains were probably the biggest surprise, although not many expected the company to break into the profit column either. Most observers, even up until Wednesday morning, had been saying the company would probably fall within its predicted range of 1.3 million to 2 million new domestic streaming subscribers. Instead, it topped that figure and now has about 27.1 million subscribers in the United States.
The earnings announcement was also highlighted by the $8 million profit--about 13 cents per share--and $945 million in revenue. Although this was not up to last year's total of $35 million in profit, 64 cents per share and revenue of $846 million, it topped street estimates that the company would lose 12 cents per share on $934.7 million in revenue.
The surge, which was to be addressed by company executives during a 6 p.m. ET conference call with analysts, is probably attributable to a recent spate of contract deals the company has signed with the likes of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) as well as the anticipated development of original programming like "Arrested Development."
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